English

Definition of claw verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

claw

 verb
verb
BrE BrE//klɔː//
 
; NAmE NAmE//klɔː//
 
Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they claw
BrE BrE//klɔː//
 
; NAmE NAmE//klɔː//
 
he / she / it claws
BrE BrE//klɔːz//
 
; NAmE NAmE//klɔːz//
 
past simple clawed
BrE BrE//klɔːd//
 
; NAmE NAmE//klɔːd//
 
past participle clawed
BrE BrE//klɔːd//
 
; NAmE NAmE//klɔːd//
 
-ing form clawing
BrE BrE//ˈklɔːɪŋ//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈklɔːɪŋ//
 
 
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  • [intransitive, transitive] to scratch or tear somebody/something with claws or with your nails claw at somebody/something The cat was clawing at the leg of the chair. (figurative) Branches clawed at her hair. claw somebody/something She had clawed Stephen across the face. (figurative) His hands clawed the air. She flew at him, clawing blindly with her nails. She screamed and clawed at his eyes.
  • Word Origin Old English clawu (noun), clawian (verb), of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch klauw and German Klaue.Idioms
    claw your way back, into something, out of something, to something, etc.
     
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    to gradually achieve something or move somewhere by using a lot of determination and effort She clawed her way to the top of her profession. Slowly, he clawed his way out from under the collapsed building.
    Phrasal Verbsclaw somethingback
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: claw